Published on July 20th, 2018 | by Sarah Jubb
Celebrating Space On Moon Day
Space has long been a fascination for humanity, from the Ancient Egyptians aligning their great pyramids to the pole star to the missions beyond our solar system with the Voyager spacecraft, launched by NASA in 1977.
July 20 marks humanity’s love of space as it is both Space Exploration Day along with being Moon Day. The reason for this is that today is the day that the Apollo 11 crew made the first successful manned landing on the Moon.
The Link Between The UK and Space Exploration
The UK has a long-standing interest in space exploration, being part of the European Space Agency and sending seven astronauts into space. We may all recognise the name Tim Peake, who holds the title of being the first official astronaut from the UK along with being the first British astronaut to enter the International Space Station.
But there are six other people from the UK who have been to space. These include Helen Sharman in 1989 who joined a Soviet scientific space mission and Michael Foale, Piers Sellers, Nicholas Patrick, Gregory H Johnson and Richard Garriott, all who flew for the United States under NASA.
UK efforts in space are set to increase even further with the recent announcement of the A’Mhoine Peninsula in Sutherland, Scotland, being chosen as the site of the UK’s first spaceport. Rockets will be launched vertically here to put future satellites into orbit.
A Love of Space In Culture
In 2012 to celebrate the world of space science, the Royal Mail released a series of special stamps that features a space theme. Each stamp had an image of a celestial body with a small explanation of what was important about it, including images of the Sun, Venus and more.
The great expanse of space has produced some of our most beloved films and television series. Just a few of these include Star Trek, Doctor Who and of course, the film giant Star Wars. While most of these may not involve a lot of real science (though we’re hopeful about becoming space wizards of course!), these franchises have become beloved and firmly cemented space as an exciting prospect and a beloved area to explore in media.
The UK is scheduled to experience a Blood Moon on July 27, which is when the moon will appear to be darker than normal due to passing through the Earth’s shadow. As its name suggests, it will gain a red tinge throughout the time period!